Over sixty businesses, investors and business associations across Europe are today calling on the European Commission not to waiver in its commitment to raising legally binding sustainability reporting standards for companies. Collectively representing businesses with $80 billion in market capitalization, financial institutions with $570 billion in assets and associations such as Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft and College des Directeur Developpement Durable, the group is calling on EU Commissioner McGuiness, responsible for EU capital markets, to maintain the current disclosure requirements and implement them in a timely manner.

The EU has shown global leadership so far by developing a comprehensive set of high-quality corporate sustainability reporting standards that cover both a company’s impacts on planet and people and sustainability-related financial risks and opportunities.

The new mandatory EU Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), which will come into force under the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), will apply to around 50,000 European businesses – a major expansion to current rules.

The legislative package represents the most advanced sustainability reporting framework globally, raising the bar for corporate transparency and the ability of financial markets to channel funds into greener businesses and maximize the value created for all stakeholders of companies (including clients, suppliers, shareholders, employees and local communities, as well as nature).

To maintain the integrity of this major milestone for robust corporate reporting in Europe, the letter calls on the Commission to maintain the current disclosure requirements and not reduce their scope.

The public letter signed by over 60 organizations and sent today to the EU Commission is available here.

CDP’s Director Policy Engagement, Europe, Mirjam Wolfrum said: “To uphold the EU’s commitment to a climate-neutral continent where nature is restored, the Commission must approve ambitious reporting standards that oblige companies to comprehensively report their environmental impacts globally, and how they transition to net-zero, nature-positive business models. The standards will help ensure a level playing field, supporting the companies that already contribute to a nature-positive and net-zero economy and setting the bar for those who don’t yet. These disclosure rules are essential to delivering capital markets the comparable data and insights needed to finance the green transition.

As the only global independent environmental disclosure system, CDP stands ready to support the implementation of the ESRS, as well as other standards, including the ISSB’s climate disclosure standard and the proposed rule being developed by the SEC in the United States. As the development of these standards near completion, we greatly encourage policymakers and standard setters to strive for harmonization and interoperability, while maintaining ambition, which will serve to reduce reporting burdens and provide standardized, comparable data for decisionmakers.”

The first set of the ESRS are scheduled for adoption by the European Commission in June 2023.